Escape from the Rock...
It had been just seven weeks since I hadn't broken my arm, I had tried swimming in the pool this past Monday, to get a feel for the water again and see how the arm felt. After a few laps, in the pool I realized it was pretty painful but I still had six days to go so I thought I'd let it continue to recover, hope for the best come today.
A very early start to morning I and arrived in San Francisco around 7am, to get my transition area from Swim to Run setup. Escape from the Rock, is a unique Triathlon, the distances are different to others, it starts with a 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco, then a 2 mile run to the Presido, where a 13 mile, 3 loop cycle course begins, followed by a 6.5 miles (10K) run.
I started off on ferry out to Alcatraz, it was a very dark and grey morning (as you can see in the picture on the left). The waters were choppy and I was quickly coming to the realization this was not a good idea. I had commented to a friend earlier this week that is seemed silly to jump off a ferry and then swim to furtherest shore and not the closest :-)
To start off people were jumping off the ferry 3 at time then all gathering at the start line for a mass start of over 900 people. At 8:30am the swim began as the gun fired, I tried not to get trampled. I kept going at a fair pace and did my best to site towards the city and most importantly, not think about sharks..
I made it out of the water! In 48 minutes I completed the 1.5 mile swim (ok, there may have been a current). Some of my friends were waiting for me to come out of the water, which was great! (thanks for making the early morning drive)
I went to my first transition area for the Swim to Run, quickly got off my wet suit and got into my run gear. My feet were still numb from the water and this caused a issue on the run. I was half-way through the run when I realized I had a little "GU" packet inside my shoe under my foot. I thought about stopping but only had another mile to go until the bike, so I kept running hoping it wasn't going to burst, causing one awful mess :-)
Next on to the bike for a short but hilly course, the course looped around the Presidio, if your not climbing your descending. I'm generally good on climbs and managed to pass a few people on every up hill; however on the downhill I lost just as many spots if not more than I had gained. Still my goal was not to any records simply to survive falling on my arm again would be a very bad thing. In just under an hour I managed to complete the bike course and move on to the run.
The run was not flat either with over 1,000 feet of climbing the highlight of the course is the in famous "Sand Stairs", this is a tough climb at around mile 3 after a run along the beach. Overall the run went very well and managed to power through the last couple miles and one of my friend joined my for the final run across the finish line (by the way I didn't crop the photo, blame the event photographers :-)
Finish Time: 03:01:40.0
Course Details (See entire course on Google Earth):
Run 1 (View on Google Earth)
736 feet of climbing
Cycle (View on Google Earth)
1,644 feet of climbing
Run 2 (View on Google Earth)
1,144 feet of climbing